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Be My Valentine, Vampire

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"So, uh, Angel," Doyle says, leaning silhouetted in the doorway to his office, hands hooked round the doorframe. And sneezes.

Angel looks up from his book, eyebrows raised; waits for Doyle to settle again.

"Angel, man, I've gotta ask you a question. When was the last time you dusted in here? - oh wait, never mind. You don't breathe. Anyway," he says. "I would ask if you wanted a drink, but you don't do that either, so uh. Can I have a word?"

Angel keeps right on looking at him.

"I really wish you wouldn't do that. It's kinda creepy, man. You might not have a reflection but I know damn well you can talk."

"Doyle, are you going somewhere with this? Because if not, I suggest you go home." (The book he's reading, for all its dusty leather, is not in point of fact work-related. But someone with Angel's reputation - well, really, it's a point of principle. So he gets all his Mills & Boon rebound: his current slow-night novel is Be My Valentine, Vampire.)

“Well man, knowin' as you do that I'm rather fond of the ladies, I thought it might, uh, help if I cleared a few things up.”

“Doyle, you got Cordelia out of my house and I'm very grateful for that, but I'm really not interested in giving you dating advice.”

“Well, y'see,” says Doyle, and he steps into the room, “dating advice wasn't quite what I was intending to ask you for. I was thinking of something more like an actual date. I mean, I know the between-the-sheets business is off the table, but you are easy on the eyes and it'd be nice to talk something that isn't shop with you some time. If you want to.”

“You're asking me on a date,” replies Angel.

“That is in fact the general idea of what I was doing, yes,” says Doyle.

“I guess,” says Angel. “If you pick up some food, I'll cook you dinner. I haven't got much in.”

“Blood and booze, eh?”

“And coffee. But it's not exactly a first-date whisky. And not one I'd waste on you anyway.”

“And half a jar of peanut butter?”

“No. I trashed it.”

“Right. Right. Okay. Be seeing you soon, then.”

– and on that note Doyle lets himself out, collapses against the wall, and appends "condoms" and "lube" to his mental shopping list.

***

Some time later, Doyle is perched primly on the edge of the sofa, trying not to fidget. Angel, on the other hand, has his head flung back and his arms flung out, a glass of red wine in one hand, and could on the whole be best described as “sprawled”.

“You don't have to do this if you don't want to, y'know,” Doyle jokes, nervously.

“What, this?” says Angel, and casually moves his arm from the back of the sofa to Doyle's shoulders.

“Um,” says Doyle.

“I thought getting sexy was a bad plan,” says Doyle.

“Heh, I don't like you that much,” replies Angel. “Besides, I wouldn't want to fall short in my duties as a host. People don't come over all that often.”

“... I'm flattered?”

“Doyle, were you after a shag or not?”

Doyle tries not to focus on Angel's canines. “Are you making fun of my accent? Because that's really not a turn-on.”

“Didn't I ever tell you I'm a Galway boy?”

Doyle swallows. Angel grins lazily.

“Look. I belong to Buffy, heart and soul, and there isn't really any way for me to escape that. But, hell, we can't have each other, and you're a nice enough kid.”

“... sounds like we've more in common than I thought,” Doyle murmurs, and for a few short hours they're lost to the world.

***

Doyle wakes up to the smell of coffee and the remembrance that he is embarrasingly prone to rolling over and going to sleep. He wraps a sheet around his waist and walks through to the kitchen to find it empty but for the coffee pot and an empty mug and faint strains of music.

He is startled to realise that Angel sings in the shower. Good tenor voice, too.

He's sat in the office studying a newspaper when Angel finally makes it upstairs. Whistling.

“Please don't tell Cordelia, man,” he whimpers.

Angel grins toothily. “If you don't write Buffy any postcards, we've got a deal.”